Dimensional change of wool fabrics in the process of a tumble-drying cycle


Currently domestic tumble dryers are popularly used for drying garments; however, excessive drying and the inappropriate way of tumble agitation could waste energy and cause damage to or the dimensional change of garments. Shrinkage of wool fabrics during tumble drying causes a serious problem for wool garments. The current study investigated the shrinkage of untreated and Chlorine-Hercosett–finished wool fabrics at different drying times. Temperature of air in the tumble dryer, temperature of fabric, moisture content of fabric, and dimensional change at different drying times were measured. For the duration of the tumble drying, the rise of fabric temperature and the reduction of moisture content on the wool fabric were investigated to explore their relationship to the shrinkage of wool fabrics in the tumble-drying cycle. It was found that the tumble-drying process can be divided into different stages according to the temperature change trend of wool fabrics. The shrinkage mechanisms of the untreated and the treated fabrics were different. The dimensional change of untreated wool fabric was caused mainly by felting shrinkage during tumble drying. Chlorine-Hercosett–finished wool fabric can withstand the tumble-drying process without noticeable felting shrinkage due to the surface modification and resin coating of surface scales of wool fibers. The finding from the current research provides further understanding of the shrinkage behavior of wool fabrics during the tumble-drying process, leading to optimizing operational parameters at specific stages of a tumble-drying cycle.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


tumble drying, wool, Chlorine-Hercosett finishing, dimensional change, felting shrinkage, moisture content


Bao, W., Shen, J., Ding, X., Wu, X. (2019) Dimensional change of wool fabrics in the process of a tumble-drying cycle. Textile Research Journal, 89 (21-22), pp. 4702-4709


Research Institute

Institute of Art and Design